W. Theodore Ronald Brailey


Janette C. Ammon

For over a year it was baffeling to find a W. Theodore Brailey. Who is my step-fathers last name. We have dated alot of the Brailey family history already. But in all of my Titanic books. The name of W. Theodore Brailey was only mentioned once in the Discovery Channel's latest book. This web site has help us the most. So far it is the best Titanic web page there is on the internet.

Janette C. Ammon
Landing, New Jersey USA

Jan Lugenbuhl

Fascinating. This is such a frightening, shattering event; those poor souls died of both fright and exposure. It is unbearable to contemplate. I WISH there was further information on pianist W. Theodore Brailey, the tophatted musician. Surely somenewspaper interviews provide his birthdate, marital status, etc. He and the entire band are heroes in the truest sense. Excellent site, but perhaps even further information could be researched and included.

Jan Lugenbuhl
New Orleans
Jan 14, 2015
Interesting how despite so many accounts of the band playing there doesn't seem to be much detail about the actual band other than "they played at the First Class Stairway Entrance". No description of instruments, the song accounts are all over the place (such as "The Star Spangled Banner" being played), the number on deck, etc. I know the situation certainly didn't call for someone to stop and observe to make note, but us in the modern day can so easily wonder why. A shame indeed.

That being said, is there any word at all about what the pianist, Theodore Ronald Brailey, did that night? I know there was a piano in the Reception Room and on the Boat Deck Level of the First Class Stairway along with three others around the ship. The SOS Titanic film tried to answer this with them bringing a piano on deck that had wheels, but as far as I know, none of the pianos had wheels or were intended to be moved onto deck - made even more complicated by the vestibule one would have to push it through.

So does anyone know what he could have been up to that evening, if at all? Feel free to correct me and prove me wrong on anything, of course. Thank you friends!
Nov 13, 2014
We can't know that for sure. Of course, it is very unlikely a piano was dragged up to the Boat Deck for Brailey to play on. Obviously he was capable of playing other instruments, but we can't say for sure if he took another instrument or simply ditched the band.

BTW, same story for piano player Percy Taylor.


Oct 15, 2015
Theodore Brailey could play cello and flute, and according to The Band That Played On by Steve Turner, Jock Hume has 2 violins with him that night, plus Taylor could play clarinet. I think they did that.

Alex Clark

Mar 24, 2012
So perhaps ANTR isn't so far out with wind instruments in the band. :) Could they not have played the pianos below decks? Independently of the rest of the band?